Bryan Goldstein works in Building Operations at the California Academy of Sciences, a non-profit museum-aquarium-planetarium-
What made you decide to join the Attractions Industry?
I have always been obsessed with theme parks and rollercoasters. I grew up in Orlando going to Disney and Universal. When I turned 18, I got my first job as an attractions host at “it’s a small world” at Magic Kingdom thinking it could be a stepping stone to Imagineering while getting my art degree at UCF. As it turned out, I fell in love with guest service and operations and ended up changing course.
How do you stay motivated during the most stressful times?
I try to imagine the end result of the project and the success of myself and my team when we solve a challenge. I personally love making lists, so if I can break down one stressful task into smaller pieces and find at least one item to check off at the end of the day, I’ve feel one step closer to success.
Describe an experience that was one of the most fulfilling moments of your career so far.
One of my favorite projects I’ve worked on was an improvement to our Planetarium exhibit at the Academy. Our building opened 10 years ago and there was a lot of scrambling to get the operations up and running to meet large crowd demand. Over the years, our staff have learned a lot about guest flow and our ability to efficiently serve our guests have increased. We were using a portable cart and stanchion topper sign to handle distribution of our Planetarium show tickets. I formed a task force with our frontline Guest Experience associates to get their opinion on how we could improve this process – they hit the ground running taking wait time measurements, sampling guest feedback, and doing rounds of testing to come up with great recommendations to our senior leadership on creating a permanent Planetarium pass distribution center with digital content. They presented their findings, and we moved forward with design and construction. We were even able to find a place to display our actual Moon Rock! To this day, it’s my favorite spot in the building because it was designed with feedback from the end user to provide a great service. I also really enjoyed seeing how excited the staff were to have input in the design; it gave them great pride in their workplace.
What would you say is your biggest accomplishment to date?
I’ve been a member of so many great teams, but I am most proud to have been on the opening team at LEGOLAND Florida. Opening a new park was such a challenge, and getting through those hurdles made me believe I could tackle any project. I also was responsible for designing all of the photo sales units – it was always my dream to design something in a theme park so it’s great that my mark is still in the park. My name is on a crate in one of the photo booths, which is as close to a window on Main Street as I think I’ll get.
If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
I’d probably be working for some company with a very generous vacation policy so I would have more time to go travel to theme parks!
What advice would you give to yourself on your first day in the industry?
I’d tell myself to not sweat the small stuff as much, and to learn that there is no linear path to what success looks like. I thought I was going to stay with one company and work my way up without really thinking if I wanted to be a General Manager or Director. I realized that I valued experiences which I could learn more skills over the traditional vertical motion of climbing the corporate ladder.
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